My love for beer began in college when I hung out in my friend’s one bedroom apartment drinking his stash of Milwaukee’s Best Light, affectionately called “The Beast”. Little did I know that would be the beginning of my love for beer. Throughout college we would go on beer runs (since we lived in a dry county) and most times our choice of beer was driven by what we could get the most of at the lowest price. This would lead us to the regulars Coors Light, Bud Light, Busch Light, MGD, and Rolling Rock.
The trek to replenish our stock each would week led to another tradition of grabbing a “deuce deuce”, otherwise known as a 22oz beer for the road (for everyone except for the driver of course). Thankfully there was no open container law in Arkansas. This tradition is what introduced me to the world of craft beer. Why would you grab a 22 oz bottle of Coors Light when you have a 30 pack in the back? Beer like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, New Belgium Fat Tire, Jim Dundee Honey Brown Ale and Sam Adams Boston Lager would become a regular for this tradition. Before I knew it I found myself supplementing 30 packs of Coors Light for a 12 pack and two 6 packs of a craft beer for which I saved the bottle caps for like little trophies. This collections eventually ended up as magnets on my fridge.
This is also what kicked off my thirst for knowledge to find out one burning question, why do all beers not taste alike? Since I didn’t have Google or Wikipedia, I researched the old-fashioned way and bought books. Books like; Sam Calagione’s Brewing up a Business, Verhoef’s The Complete Encyclopedia of Beer, and Charlie Papzian’s The Complete Joy of Home Brewing (3rd Edition).
I finally had the financial means to support this interest after I graduated college and the diversity of beer I was exposed to increased exponentially, aided by my geographic diversity and the craft beer revolution. This can clearly be seen from comparing my beer magnet collection from college to my present day bottle cap collection.
“Beer is living proof that God love us and wants us to be happy.” – Benjamin Franklin